Staff Development Training

For over two (2) decades, the Bobby E. Wright Comprehensive Behavioral Health Center has served as the largest black operated community behavioral health facility in the country. Under astute leadership, and a strong Board of Directors, the Agency has been the lead agency for many city, statewide, and federal initiatives targeted toward the eradication of ills that plague urban communities. The Agency is committed to the professional growth and skills development of its staff, and other social service providers serving the severely and persistently handicapped, the addict, victims of sexual or domestic violence, and children and adolescents. The Bobby E. Wright Comprehensive Behavioral Health Center’s Training Programs is three-pronged, consisting of Management Training, Clinical Training, and the Speakers Bureau components.

Management Training

While the Agency’s selection of managers reflects prescribed standards for education levels, managers at Bobby E. Wright bring a wealth of experiential skills. In addition to the direct supervision that managers receive, the training format for managers provides an arena for exchange of information and the acquisition of new skills in a formal setting. On a monthly basis, managers attend in-house workshops focused on such issues as staff motivation, management-by-objectives, performance appraisal processes, etc. These workshops are typically conducted as half-day workshops on the third Friday of every month.

Staff Development

The Agency has a strong commitment to future professionals in the fields of mental health, substance abuse, and developmental disabilities. Our core of dedicated professionals welcomes young graduates from universities and colleges throughout the Midwest who need a place to begin their careers under competent training and supervision. Most agencies prefer to hire experienced personnel to avoid the cost of time and resources involved in developing young graduates. This prevalent attitude presents a formidable challenge to young African American college graduates who find it nearly impossible to enter the field without tangible experience.

The purpose of our Staff Development Program is to provide valuable work experience, professional supervision, and competent training that will enable entry level staff to prepare for professional certification in Social Work, Substance Abuse, and other areas of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities.

Staff development is the primary responsibility of the Administrative Program Managers. The process is carried out through direct and indirect supervision, continuous review and evaluation of all aspects of work, including theoretical frame up and required documentation. The President/CEO is the lead staff development trainer. A passionate teacher, Dr. Lucy Lang-Chappell conducts a teaching session during each monthly general staff meeting. Furthermore, on several occasions throughout the year, she also conducts specialized training in areas of personal interest such as Diabetes, Children and Adolescents and Chemical Therapy, Politics of Ritalin, and Mental Health vs. Criminal Justice Services for Inner City Youths, as well as the more routine elements of successful consumer care, such as; case management, treatment planning, treatment modalities, and documentation.

Guest lecturers and prominent researchers come to the Agency to present reports on their latest research findings. Dr. Rashad Saafir conducts weekly Intake Review and Assessment Training. Dr. Thomas Jobe conducts Diagnosis Assessment and training also on a weekly basis. A variety of funding sources required training is conducted throughout the year such as, Infectious Diseases Training and Education, Safety and Emergency Procedures, Management of Aggressive Consumers, Review of Funding Sources Rules and Regulations, and other relevant aspects of service delivery. Staff is encouraged to attend relevant conferences and seminars and to share their learning with their colleagues.

The Agency guidelines require that staff receive a minimum of one (1) hour of direct supervision weekly, attend a weekly Team Meeting, attend Intake and Diagnosis Staffing and Training at least once a month and participate in all clinical education and training programs conducted by the Agency. All staff is strongly encouraged to discuss training issues with their supervisors and to submit staff development ideas and suggestions to Administration.

A calendar of training events is posted monthly indicating upcoming events. It is the responsibility of staff to make arrangements with their supervisors to ensure participation in staff development activities.

Clinical Training

Clinical Training is an ongoing process within Bobby E. Wright. It is designed to enhance the skills of both line staff and managers. Clinical interviewing and diagnostic skills are reinforced continuously through weekly diagnostic and twice-monthly interview training. Intake training is coordinated by the Intake Department and includes consultation with the staff psychiatrist. Selected Intakes are presented with focus towards increased understanding of the dynamics of diagnostic-related issues.

Finally, general clinical training issues are addressed through this program and are frequently correlated to issues identified by the Agency’s Quality Assurance Program. Past issues have addressed Consumer’s Confidentiality and Multiple Personality disorders etc. Experts on popular topical areas are scheduled as presenters. A training schedule for this component is developed quarterly and announcements are mailed to outside organizations.

Speakers Bureau

The Agency receives numerous requests from external sources to address audiences on a variety of topics. The most frequently requested topics are related to children and adolescents, and alcoholism. Requests from organizations must be communicated in writing on their company’s letterhead. Upon receipt of the request, experienced speakers are identified and matched with the subject area. A nominal fee for speakers is appreciated. External sources have included public and private schools, the State of Illinois, social service organizations, and churches.

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